On the opposite side of the border from Mo Han lies the Laotian village of Ban Boten. Assuming you’ve already obtained a visa from the Laotian consulate in Kunming, the border crossing itself should be free and uncomplicated. Yuan are accepted in Ban Boten, but there’s nowhere to stay or change your Chinese currency for Laotian kip. The nearest banks and beds are a ¥10 truck ride away at the town of Luang Namtha, from where you can hitch out to the early-morning markets at Muong Sing to see local people in full tribal regalia. There’s transport from Luang Namtha to Nung Kie via Muong Tai, and thence by boat down the Mekong to Luang Phabang (though you can also come the whole way from the border by road).
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